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Old 10-11-2010, 11:30 PM   #1
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Tap Water or RODI water?

I have an established 2 year old 30 gallon reef tank that consists of the following…
frogspawn, purple birds nest, xenia, ricordia, musrooms, watchman goby, and a lawnmower blenny. I did have a purple firefish, the regular firefish, pajama cardinal and a beautiful carpenters wrasse, with 2 peppermint shrimp. I've always been using my tap water with some drops to condition the water prior to usage, but sine everything died except for the blenny and the watchman goby, my suspicions are high. I feel skeptical from the advice that I'm getting from my dealer that it's ok to use tap water, but every time I'm online I see people repeat themselves NOT TO USE TAP WATER and use a RODI system. I'm tired of going back to this guy and getting half off deals just to watch these fish die on me the next day. It's seriously grinding my gears… I'm not getting anywhere with it and I feel I should just give up on it. ANY advice would be great!!!
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:54 AM   #2
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Fish dieing "the next day" after you buy them most likely isn't water related, in my opinion. Could be poor acclimation, or sick fish to start with. Not sure if you're using a quarantine/hospital/holding tank to isolate the new fish from your main tank, but if not... it's a good idea. That way you aren't introducing disease or parasites into your main tank. Keeping the new fish isolated for a month gives you time to recognize and treat any disease the new fella might have.

For fish only, treated tap water is *probably* just fine. "Treated" implies you're doing something to remove the chlorine or chloramines from the water. If your tank water tests zero for ammonia and nitrites, and has less than say... 40ppm nitrates... you're most likely fine.

People recommend RO/DI because it will not introduce any phosphates or nitrates that can fuel algae growth. That, and the fact that when you start with absolutely pure water, you have consistent salt water all the time. Consistency goes a long way to reduce stress on the fish, but more important any coral that might be in the tank.

Is RO/DI the best you can do? Yup. But is treated tap OK for fish only? It's not the best, but unless the water is terribly terribly bad, I can't see it causing fish deaths in a day.
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:45 AM   #3
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^^ well said Kurt.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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Kurt is right on all points.
Save yourself a huge headache and get an RO/DI unit.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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We use a drip acclimation method with a timer set at 30 minutes for each new species that enter into our tank. We do have a quarantine tank set up just in case, but we don't use it on a regular bases. I was told that quarantining for a month is excessive and unnecessary. Also, I find that it's easier to treat freshwater species from diseases rather than saltwater. What should you keep handy in the medicine cabinet for the saltwater species? I know it's very different from treating freshwater species to saltwater species, any advice on that?
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:15 PM   #6
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hi, just read your first post...I would reccomend against tap water...I use an RO machine (no DI - it was a little cheaper, lasts a little longer between filter changes, and seems a good compromise)...
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:12 PM   #7
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I actually bought my RODI system on ebay for $65 new. As I compared prices on other stores online, I think I got a great bargain. By the way, is 30 minutes not enough time to acclimate invertebrates? I went to my local aquarium store and now I'm being told that 30 minutes is not enough time. I guess I'm still transitioning out of the freshwater era. This saltwater thing is pretty difficult!
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:46 PM   #8
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not sure of the 30min thing (first time saltwater guy myself)...love to hear an answer though...the timer thing was a great idea...
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatrinaV View Post
I actually bought my RODI system on ebay for $65 new. As I compared prices on other stores online, I think I got a great bargain. By the way, is 30 minutes not enough time to acclimate invertebrates? I went to my local aquarium store and now I'm being told that 30 minutes is not enough time. I guess I'm still transitioning out of the freshwater era. This saltwater thing is pretty difficult!
I got mine on ebay years ago for about the same price.

30 minutes acclimation with what method? Are you dripping them or just floating them? I used to drip all my new additions and then found it was causing more problems than it was solving. I float for 15 minutes to equalize temp and then add some of my tank water to the bag and float for a little while longer. If all looks good into the tank they go after maybe 20 minutes. I switched to this method a long time ago and have had no ill effects from it.

I suggest you follow the procedure that complies with the store guarantee. If that is a concern of yours.
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